Watch the Live Stream - May 19th at 9:00AM 

Senior Celebration will be live streamed for those who cannot attend, and a room has been reserved on campus in the Integrative Learning Center (Room N151) for guests without tickets to view the ceremony via live stream.

UMass Amherst Commencement Weekend 2024

Undergraduates are encouraged to attend both the University Commencement, the official graduation ceremony where degrees are conferred, and the College of Natural Sciences Senior Celebration, a personalized ceremony where each CNS graduate is presented with a commemorative medal and crosses a platform as their name is announced and they appear on the jumbo video screens. Some of the ceremonies require advance registration and ticketing. Preliminary details are below; more information will be provided as it becomes available.

Graduate Commencement 

Friday, May 17, 2024
10:00 a.m. in McGuirk Alumni Stadium
All graduates receiving master’s and doctoral degrees attend

Undergraduate Commencement 

Saturday, May 18, 2024 
10:00 a.m. in McGuirk Alumni Stadium 
All graduates receiving bachelor's degrees attend; tickets not required

College of Natural Sciences Senior Celebration 

Sunday, May 19, 2024
9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in the Mullins Center 
All CNS graduates receiving bachelor's degrees attend; tickets required

Schedule for CNS Senior Celebration:

  • 7:30 a.m.: Graduating students check in at tent located behind (west of) the Mullins Center; doors to the Mullins Center open for guest seating
  • 8:30 a.m.: Seating of graduates commences
  • 9 a.m.: CNS Stage Party and Faculty Procession
  • 9:05 - 9:15 a.m.: Deans’ Welcome
  • 9:15 - 11:25 a.m.: Recognition of individual graduates by major
  • 11:25 a.m.: Celebratory UMass cheer and hat toss

Stockbridge School of Agriculture Associate Degree Commencement 

Saturday, May 18, 2024 
3:00 p.m. in Bowker Auditorium 
All Stockbridge graduates receiving associate degrees attend

Senior Celebration Tickets

Tickets will be required for entry into the Mullins Center.

Due to the limited seating capacity of the Mullins Center, guests will be admitted to the ceremony by ticket only. Each CNS graduate will be allotted four tickets for their guests. (The number of tickets each candidate receives is limited by the Center’s seating capacity and by the number of graduating candidates.) These tickets will be automatically deposited into each graduate’s account with the Mullins Center. These tickets will be available in March and are transferrable, and the graduate can share these tickets with other students if they do not need all four.

To access the tickets, the graduate needs a Mullins Center account and can then distribute the tickets at will. Students will receive an email from the Mullins Center in early March with instructions. This email will confirm that the tickets are in their accounts, or it will remind them to sign up for an account to access their tickets. Graduates will not be required to have a ticket on commencement day; only invited guests need a ticket for entry.

Senior Celebration will be live streamed for those who cannot attend, and a room has been reserved on campus in the Integrative Learning Center (Room N151) for guests without tickets to view the ceremony via live stream.

Doors for guests will open an hour before the scheduled start time. Tickets can either be presented and scanned from a printed copy or from any smart device. Once a ticket has been scanned, it cannot be scanned again. If graduates invite more than 4 guests, it is with the understanding that the extra guest may have to view the live stream, as extra tickets on the day of is not guaranteed and guests without tickets will be denied entry.

Sharing Unused Tickets
Sharing tickets between graduates is permissible but will not monitored by CNS or the Mullins Center. If students would like to collaborate with other graduates to share tickets, they may do so by emailing their unused issued tickets to whom they wish at their discretion. This must be done through the graduate’s Mullins Center account. Tickets shared must be for the same ceremony.

Planning Your Visit

Dining

Commencement Weekend On-Campus Dining  

At Berkshire Dining Commons, Hampshire Dining Commons, and Worcester Dining Commons, families and guests of graduates who are on a UMass meal plan may join their graduates for complimentary meals. Other students, families, faculty, and staff may dine at the Commons at the rate of $11.50 for breakfast, $15.50 for lunch, and $18.75 for dinner. Meals feature healthy and sustainable global cuisine and showcase local and regional ingredients. On Sunday, Hampshire and Worcester DC will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The People’s Organic Coffee Shop and Harvest Fresh Market on the concourse at the Campus Center both open at 8 a.m. and serve coffee, breakfast, and fresh baked organic and all natural treats. Harvest Fresh Market is a full-service market serving healthy, sustainable and delicious fare.  Their hot bar features Indian, Asian, traditional American and many other world cuisines. Don’t miss their salad bar featuring freshly prepared composed salads using locally sourced in—season ingredients.

The Commonwealth Restaurant, located on the top floor of the newly constructed Worcester Commons, offers a relaxed atmosphere with beautiful views of campus. The Commonwealth is open Friday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. featuring a lunch and dinner menu. Saturday offerings include: brunch 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and dinner buffet 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.. Sunday brunch 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.. For reservations, please call 413-545-0255. 

Stadium Concessions
Food and beverages at the stadium prior to the 2024 Ceremony and on the east side of the stadium, near the entrance. Snacks and light meals, including a fresh grill selection, fruit, desserts, and beverages will be sold. Complimentary water will also be available at Concessions and throughout the stadium. 

UMass Dining Facilities Hours of Operations

For a unique blend of restaurants, hotels, shops, and cultural destinations, please visit our friends at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce at amherstarea.com and the Amherst Business Improvement District at amherstdowntown.com or Hampshire County Tourism Council at visithampshirecounty.com.

Lodging

On Campus Lodging

Residential Hall Lodging  
Staying on campus is the best way to be close to all of the commencement activities. Beginning Saturday, our campus residence hall accommodations, in single or double occupancy, provide casual comfort at affordable rates. Each floor offers a lounge that encourages interaction with other guests while offering you the option of retreating to your own room to prepare for the next day’s activities. Parking is free and close by, and linens and towels are provided. There are a few rooms available for guests with disabilities, so please be sure to indicate any special accommodation needs when registering. All rooms are located in a low-rise residence hall in the Southwest Residential Area, a convenient location to the various Commencement activities held throughout the weekend and the closest lodging option to the main Commencement ceremony held at McGuirk Stadium on Saturday morning.

Please note, due to student move-out, no residence hall lodging is available Friday night. To register, please visit: https://umass.irisregistration.com/Site/Commencement. For questions and/or registration assistance, call 413-577-8102 or email %20registration [at] umass [dot] edu (registration[at]umass[dot]edu). Reservations will be accepted until 4 p.m. on April 12, 2024, or until capacity is reached.

Hotel UMass 
Visit: https://hotelumass.com/

Off campus Lodging

For a unique blend of restaurants, hotels, shops, and cultural destinations, please visit our friends at the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce at amherstarea.com and the Amherst Business Improvement District at amherstdowntown.com or Hampshire County Tourism Council at visithampshirecounty.com.

Accessibility

Disability Services & Accessibility
Parking Permit Instructions 

The Undergraduate Commencement is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. in the McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Guests with accessible parking plates/placards and drivers escorting guests with limited mobility may complete the Reserved Accessible Parking Form by April 26, 2024 to request parking closest to the stadium (guests will receive an email confirmation of their parking request and a parking pass with information will be mailed to their address). Spaces are limited and preference will be given to those with state issued accessible parking plate or placard who register first.

Guests with limited mobility can also be dropped off at one of the designated bus stops, regularly serviced by shuttle buses. Golf carts will be available near the reserved accessible parking area at McGuirk Stadium before and after the ceremony to assist guests with limited mobility get to and from the stadium and the parking area.

Keep in mind that there will be significant traffic on Commencement Day, so it is best to allow 2 hours of travel after arriving in the Amherst/Hadley area. Our 25,000 guests trickle in throughout the day, but when Commencement is over, everyone wants to leave at once, which leads to delays and traffic.

The parking permit provided is valid for the specific lot assigned for the University Commencement on Saturday, May 18, 2024 as well as any on-campus, accessible parking spot near the school/college events on Saturday, May 18 or Sunday May 19.

Please display your permit on your driver side dashboard so UMass Police can direct you to the correct lot, along with your state issued accessible placard (if you have one). Be advised that this pass only applies to on-campus lots and is not appropriate for use off campus or on any other dates. 

For all other ceremonies, guests with state-issued accessible parking plates/placards or guests escorting family members with mobility issues will be directed to the closest available accessible parking to their destination.

Accessible Accommodations at the Stadium
The Commencement ceremony is rain or shine.  There is no shade in the stadium so a sunny day can become intolerable without proper planning. Although the area devoted to our guests who need accommodations has been paved, most of the stadium ground is gravel which may make walking difficult. Please consider this when choosing footwear.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase within the stadium. There is extensive security, including metal detectors. No alcohol is available or allowed at the stadium event. UMass is a tobacco free campus, so there is no smoking allowed anywhere. All bags will be checked. It’s highly recommended that you bring only what you need into the event.

Wheelchair accessible restroom facilities will be available throughout the stadium grounds, with the largest cluster located by Gate 2/Portal 20, which is the entrance/exit for all guests with mobility challenges who require transportation. Commencement Ambassadors will be present to assist with driving golf carts and directing guests to the Disability Service entrance (Portal 20).

Portal 20 (the northeast-most portal of the stadium) provides full access to restrooms, and accessible guest seating on the field. Guests can of course, choose to sit in the stands. There are ramps to the stadium stands at the southern end of the stadium. The first row of the stands is available from those ramps. All others are only accessible via stairs.

If you require a van shuttle with a wheelchair lift, please contact Transportation Services prior to May 18 at 413-545-2086 or %20stspv [at] admin [dot] umass [dot] edu (stspv[at]admin[dot]umass[dot]edu)

Seating 

Seating for our guests with mobility concerns is on the field behind the graduates. The grass will be covered with flooring to provide a flat and stable surface. There are no tickets for any seating at McGuirk Stadium. We encourage at least one person to stay with the guest seated on the floor of the stadium but your party does not need to separate.   

Sign Language / Interpreters  

If you or any of your guests require the services of a sign language interpreter submit your request through the event accommodations request form. The deadline for requesting interpreter services is April 15, 2024.

Security at McGuirk Alumni Stadium  

The main Commencement Ceremony for the University of Massachusetts Amherst Undergraduate Class of 2024 will be held on Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 10:00 a.m. at McGuirk Alumni Stadium on the UMass Amherst campus, rain or shine. The ceremony is scheduled to conclude at approximately 12:30 p.m.

Guests should plan to arrive on campus by 8:00 a.m. to ensure ample time to reach campus, park, and arrive at the stadium via a shuttle bus or by walking.

Once at the stadium, you will proceed through security. The stadium map (on the last page of the commencement program handed out at the entrance) shows where each school or college will be seated so you can plan your seating in the stands accordingly.

Our security protocols ensure the safety of our visitors and our campus community. Metal detectors will be in place at the entrance to McGuirk Alumni Stadium. Guests are advised to pack lightly for the day as all items taken into either venue are subject to search—the less you are carrying, the more quickly your party will be able to proceed through security. Please discuss security measures with the members of your party ahead of time so everyone is aware of our protocols. Although you can expect security measures to take a little time at your point of entry, our staff will be there to welcome you!

Security at Mullins Center

All guests and graduates will be required to walk through metal detectors when entering the venue. To expedite the process, we ask guests and graduates to remove cell phones from their pockets. Purses, diaper bags, and other small personal bags are allowed but will be inspected at all entrances. Outside food or beverages will be allowed.  Weapons of any kind, and tobacco products are not permitted inside the arena. For details on security procedures and a full list of prohibited items, please visit the Mullins Center website.

Parking

Please be advised that on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18, there will be heavy traffic on and around the University campus. Several roads will be partially closed or limited to one-directional traffic. Please allow for extra time to navigate campus.

Parking will be directed by the UMass Police Department based closest available parking lots. Shuttle buses will operate from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. to take people from farther lots. We strongly recommend that you park once on campus and travel via shuttle or walk to the your destination. Plan at least an hour of travel time once you arrive in the Amherst area.

At McGuirk Alumni Stadium

Graduates and families will be guided by UMass Police officers and traffic flaggers to the closest available lots to the stadium beginning with Lots 22 and 33.

To specifically request accessible parking at the stadium on Saturday (5/18), complete the Accessible Parking form. Accessible parking for the stadium is located in Lot 11 on Stadium Drive.

Graduate Assembly Area
Lot 11, is otherwise closed and serves as the graduate assembly area.

Recreational Vehicle (RV) Parking 

Recreational vehicle (RV) parking is available upon request at no charge. However, there are no hookups for electricity, water, or waste disposal. Call the Office of External Relations and University Events at 413-577-1101 or email commencement [at] umass [dot] edu (commencement[at]umass[dot]edu )for more information or to make a reservation.  

FAQs for Graduates

CNS Celebration Schedule

Which ceremony do I attend?  

We encourage undergraduates and families to attend both ceremonies, the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 18, at 10:00 a.m. and the CNS Senior Celebration on Sunday, May 19, at 9:00 a.m. 

The 10:00 a.m. commencement ceremony at McGuirk Stadium is a fun and celebratory event held outdoors, where degrees are conferred; the Commencement Wind Ensemble plays; and Chancellor, student, and keynote speakers present.   

The CNS Senior Celebration is smaller and more intimate where graduates’ names are called and each are recognized individually.    

Stockbridge School of Agriculture Commencement - AS Degree - Visit  this page  for more information. 

What is traffic usually like? How will I know where to go?

Plan at least an hour of travel time once you arrive to the Amherst area. Parking starts at lots closest to the ceremony and moves farther as they fill up. UMass Police officers will direct traffic and parking. Park once and take the bus or walk to your destination. Shuttle services will be available to take people from farther lots to the ceremony for the undergraduate ceremony.

Who gets to walk in the University Commencement and the CNS Senior Celebration? 

An undergraduate student’s year of graduation is established by the Registrar’s Office. To be eligible to participate in the 2024 commencement ceremony, students must have fulfilled all requirements by the date of the ceremony or be scheduled to do so by September of 2024. 
 
Students who are expected to graduate in winter of 2024 or spring of 2025 but want to walk in May of 2024, need to contact the Registrar's Office, Diploma and Graduation Services at reggrad [at] registrar [dot] umass [dot] edu (reggrad[at]registrar[dot]umass[dot]edu) no later than March 31, 2024.   

How many guests am I allowed to bring? 

Tickets are not required for the Commencement ceremony in McGuirk Stadium. 

For Senior Celebration, each graduate will be allotted 4 tickets due to the capacity of the Mullins Center, where the ceremony will take place. The ceremony will be live streamed and guests who do not have tickets will be able to view it in another location on campus.

What should I wear to the ceremony? 

Students must dress in graduate caps and gowns. 

Where can I get my cap and gown? 

Undergraduates  

No pre-order or online ordering is necessary. Caps, gowns, and tassels may be picked up on the days and times listed below.  

  • At the Commencement Fair: Wednesday, May 8, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Campus Center Auditorium  
  • The week of Commencement: Monday, May 13 – Thursday, May 16, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Campus Center 165-69 
  • On Commencement Day: Saturday, May 18, Prior to 10:00 a.m. Ceremony, Lot 11 Graduate Assembly Area at McGuirk Alumni Stadium 

Undergraduates UWW/Distance Learners and Fall or Winter Grads ONLY  

You can request alternative options by emailing <commencement [at] umass [dot] edu (commencement[at]umass[dot]edu ).

Masters and Doctoral  

Regalia will also be available to order through the UMass Store online and in person during normal hours of operation beginning May 1. There is no charge for caps and gowns, they are covered by student fees. However, custom doctoral hoods must be purchased.

I am a double major or am enrolled in another college and their ceremony is at the same time as the CNS Senior Celebration, what should I do?

If a senior is a double major or is enrolled in another college and the ceremonies conflict, the senior must choose which of the two ceremonies to attend. We encourage you to attend the CNS Senior Celebration!  

Double majors within CNS should sit with only one of their two majors and go up to the stage only once during the ceremony.  

When will I get my diploma? 

Diplomas are not distributed during the Saturday and Sunday ceremonies. They are mailed post-Commencement to the student's permanent address after the grades have been received, recorded, and processed by the Registrar's Office. To ensure the delivery of diplomas, all graduates should check SPIRE to make certain that their diploma mailing address is accurately recorded. Please log in to SPIRE then go to your Academics tile and then in your left menu click graduation > diploma preferences to update your mailing address. 

Questions regarding diplomas? Please contact the Registrar’s Office, located at 213 Whitmore Administration Building, by phone at 413-545-0555, or via email at reggrad [at] registrar [dot] umass [dot] edu

I am unable to attend the ceremony; will I still be able to receive my commemorative medal and CNS gift?  

Seniors may arrange to receive a medal and an event program by contacting the University Events Office (commencement [at] admin [dot] umass [dot] edu (commencement[at]admin[dot]umass[dot]edu))  or calling (413) 577-1101.  

The College gives each graduating senior a small gift at the ceremony. If seniors would like to arrange receiving this, please contact the CNS Advising Center at cnsstudentsuccess [at] umass [dot] edu (cnsstudentsuccess[at]umass[dot]edu) or call (413) 545-1969. If leaving a message, please leave your name and phone number along with your reason for calling.  

Will seniors be allowed to stay in their on-campus housing until Graduation? 

Yes, seniors are automatically allowed to remain in their dorm rooms until Monday, May 20. For more information: https://www.umass.edu/living/permission-stay-late

FAQs for Families

When should I arrive?

Gates for Commencement on Saturday, May 18, open for guests at 8:30 a.m. Doors to the Mullins Center for Senior Celebration on Sunday, May 19, open at 8:00 a.m.

How should I plan for the weather?

Commencement in McGuirk Stadium will be held rain or shine, so if there is potentially unpleasant weather, we would encourage wearing a raincoat, bringing an umbrella, and perhaps a towel to sit on.  

If sunshine and clear skies are expected, just remember that shade is virtually nonexistent in the stadium so please consider bringing a hat and sunscreen.

Senior Celebration is indoors in the Mullins Center.

What should families and guests wear?  

Families and guests should dress comfortably, wearing shoes appropriate for walking.

How do we purchase pictures of our graduate at the CNS Senior Celebration?

Commencement photos of graduates walking across the stage will be taken during Senior Celebration. Proof of these photographs will be emailed within 48 hours of the ceremony to graduates along with order forms and information for those wishing to purchase prints.

If you have further questions regarding the CNS Senior Celebration, please feel free to contact Karen Schimmel, kschimmel [at] umass [dot] edu (kschimmel[at]umass[dot]edu).

More information about all university commencement activities can be found on the university commencement web page.